Decorating a living room is one thing, but what happens when your living room is also your bedroom? And your dining room? Studio apartments are a reality for a lot of people and they can be challenging to decorate. But when you’re living in one room you don’t need to sacrifice style. Here are some tips on how to live beautifully in studio and bachelor apartments.
Before decorating any small space, whether it’s a single room or a studio, familiarize yourself with some of the rules for decorating small spaces. They’re a great starting point for making the most of a small space.
Classic room dividers are terrific decorative elements that separate living and sleeping areas. There are tons of different styles – from classic folding screens to beautiful fabric-covered pieces. The sky’s the limit so if you can’t find something that suits your style consider having one custom made. Most upholsterers can have one made quickly and fairly inexpensively. Much like curtains they take up a lot of visual space so have fun and find a fabric you really love.
Book shelves are another type of room divider – but the bonus is that they offer storage. Open shelving makes a particularly good divider as you can access things from both sides. They also help make the space look open and airy. If however you opt for closed shelving and the back isn’t finished, try painting or wallpapering it.
There are many ways to create a half wall with which you can divide living, dining, and sleeping areas. One of the easiest is with a short bookshelf. They can help define living areas and you can place items on top, making them very practical. If you place the head of the bed against the back of a short bookshelf you’ve also got an instant headboard. You can even upholster it! A solid headboard (sans shelf) can also work. Just make sure it’s finished on both sides and is solid all the way to the floor.
Day beds are wonderful for studio and bachelor apartments because more often than not they can double as extra seating. If your daybed has a frame that wraps around the back you can place it against the wall and load it with pillows to create an inviting and comfortable seating area. If there is no back/side frame (just a head and foot board), you can place it right in the middle of the room! In many cases your guests won’t even know it’s also your bed.
Hanging fabric around the sleeping area is great for separating the areas. Consider hanging it on a track mounted over the bed. That way you can draw the curtains open and closed whenever you like. Another option is to hang four pieces of fabric from ceiling to floor at the four corners of the bed. It won’t provide privacy but it’s a very elegant way to define the space.
Murphy beds are a unique option for people living in small spaces. They fold up into the wall meaning they disappear from view entirely when not in use. More often than not they are contemporary in style, however more traditional-looking versions are starting to appear on the market. Murphy beds can be great, but much like sofa beds they require a certain amount of maneuvering before you can climb into bed at night. You'll have to unfold the bed as well as move any other pieces out of the way (such as the coffee table).